Archive for August, 2010

2010 WAA Showcases

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

This week On Ensemble will be attending the Western Arts Alliance Annual Booking Conference.  Here’s our showcase schedule:

Tuesday August 31st : 10:00pm
Wednesday September 1st : 10:00pm

Pacific Room, First Floor, Hyatt Regency Long Beach

We’re represented by Cadence Arts Network at Booth 431.

On Ensemble education programs promo video

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Educational outreach is an important part of On Ensemble’s musical mission. Many of our audiences are seeing these instruments for the first time, and the cultural background for On Ensemble’s music is somewhat complicated. There are obvious Japanese inspirations, but there is also turntable scratching and Tuvan-esque overtone singing. The music isn’t entirely new, or entirely traditional. It takes some explaining.

So in addition to our concert performances, we jump at opportunities to talk about where we’re coming from and give others a chance to drum. Last year I taught a week-long session at Pilgrim School and On Ensemble did nine workshops with third graders at Glassell Park Elementary. Brent Pantell compiled footage from these encounters into a video about On Ensemble’s educational outreach and it turned out really well! See the video below and read more in the Educational Outreach section of our About page. Thank you, Brent!

On Ensemble educational programs promo video

Book reviews – dance notation

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

For the last year or so, I’ve been exploring slant form and “matsuri” / “bon” taiko. I have been searching for a way to notate my new movements and have been reading about dance notation. I’ll do a separate post on taiko movement notation once I’ve figured out a workable system. In the meantime, here are quick reviews of the books I’ve read thus far, including one fantastic work by Ann Hutchinson Guest with historical and philosophical perspective on dance notation.


A week in Vermont

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

About three months ago, Nicki and Dan (my sister and her husband) had their second baby girl, Hazel. I spent last week visiting the gang and playing with my 2.5-year-old niece, Cordelia.

Thank you for all the fun!

Introducing the Two Box House

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Hiro and I are making progress on the dream home! In addition to the Shoebox House described earlier, we’re exploring another design concept called the Two Box House. Working with Ron Golan of (RGON Architecture), we’ve now have a 3D model of the rough schematic design. Here are the first renderings! (Note the shadows are a little wacky because the walls are made transparent.)

Parallel configuration

Perpendicular configuration

More images and info after the break!


New blog feature: What we’re eating

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Working with Matt Gallizzi at NoTix Technical Solutions, Hiro and I implemented a photo auto-blogging system to take shots of our meals. There are still a few rough spots to work out but you can see our most recent meal in the updated header of my blog, and our last 30 meals here. Nerdy, no?! Howto coming soon!

More photos from Brent Pantell

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Like Kris just posted Brent came by the studio to do a photo session for his portraiture class.  We went down to the LA river which is just a couple of blocks from the studio for the outdoor shots.  Brent does a lot of design work for us including the hand printed cover of our last limited run EP. See more of his work at

Bangerz + San Jose Taiko = Robot Remains

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Our good friends at San Jose Taiko team up with bay area DJ group Bangerz for a song about robots!

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